On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today (Hardcover)
White House expert Lauren A. Wright identifies, explains, and measures the impact of the expanding role of presidential spouses in the White House and presidential campaign communications strategy, with a focus on the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.More than any other time in history, the First Lady now bears responsibilities tantamount to those of any high-ranking cabinet member. This fascinating book documents the growing presence of the president's wife in the communications strategies of the last three administrations, explaining why their involvement in a campaign has been critical to its survival. The book explores how the First Lady serves to persuade public opinion, make personal appeals to the public on behalf of the president, and promote initiatives that serve as uncontroversial frames for controversial policies. The author delves into political discussions about what makes presidents and presidential candidates likable, what draws public support to their agendas, and why spouses appear to be more effective in these arenas than other surrogates or even the presidents themselves. The content features dozens of interviews with former White House staff and communications strategists; in-depth analysis of almost 1,700 public speeches made by Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama; and surveys testing the effect of public relations strategies involving spouses on political opinion.
Lauren A. Wright, PhD, is director of investor relations at NV5 Global, Inc., and a board member of the White House Transition Project.